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University Library DePaul Library

NSG 400 Research Tips

Here are a few recommendations to help get your research off to a great start (for more comprehensive research guidance, please refer to the Nursing Research Guide or Ask A Librarian):

  • DO start off by getting Background Information. Before attempting to navigate the scholarly literature, explore and understand your nursing concept better using the online Background Information sources (encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks) linked from this guide
  • DON'T spend (or waste) lots of time searching Google or Google Scholar.  Unlike Google, library databases offer efficient mechanisms for identifying, evaluating, and managing your search results.
  • DO use the Academic Search Complete database: Before searching any of the subject-specific databases, try searching Academic Search Complete - it's multidisciplinary, and the materials it offers will provide treatments of your nursing concept across different subject areas and contexts.
  • DO search in more than one database. Starting from the 'Finding Articles' section of this guide, use different databases to find information sources representing different disciplines.
  • In EBSCO databases (e.g. CINAHL; PsycInfo; HealthSource), DO NOT check the box marked "Full Text" (located in upper left of the search page). That will extinguish the many search results whose full text you can still get via "Find Full Text @ DePaul" links.
  • Don't forget to identify alternate search words & phrases. In your searches, remember to incorporate variations in language used by other authors (and the databases themselves) to express the concept/s you're interested in. Also, try using the * asterisk 'truncation' symbol to expand your search across different word endings (e.g. child* = child OR child's OR children OR childhood, etc.).
  • DON'T set database search limits or filters before thinking about what they will exclude from your results. Instead, consider the extent to which the value and relevance of your results will depend upon factors such as the publication date, language, publication type, scholarly/non-scholarly.
  • Don't get frustrated when you encounter a problem with your literature search. In addition to the many Ask A Librarian options, you can get online help from Tutorials and "How To" Guides‚Äč
  • Don't forget to seek clarification from your instructor when you need help understanding or correctly interpreting instructions or guidelines associated with your assignments.
  • Do Ask A Librarian if you have any questions about choosing or searching databases.